My Achilles Tendon is My Achilles Heel

A little ankle issue.  Something with the Achilles tendon in my left leg.  Started feeling it on Sunday during the leg workout, but I didn’t hurt it then.  It didn’t impact the workout much.  Felt a couple of twinges in the past couple of days and then today, it started hurting more.

My hunch is that it’s an overuse issue.  I’ve been doing those HIIT cardios on the Stair Master.  Running uphill during the high intensity intervals.  I’ve also been working out barefoot for my leg and back workouts.  My feet are very flat, so I’ve been feeling this change in my calves quite a bit.

So I did a little research.  http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/cybertherapist/back/achilles/tendinitis.htm

Wow.  I think this fits…

Achilles tendonitis can be either acute, meaning occurring over a period of a few days, following an increase in training, or chronic which occurs over a longer period of time.

Symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis

Acute tendonitis:

  • Gradual onset of achilles pain at the back of the ankle, just above the heel bone.
  • This develops over a period of days.
  • Pain at the onset of exercise which fades as the exercise progresses.
  • Pain eases with rest.
  • Tenderness on palpation.

Chronic achilles tendonitis may follow on from acute tendonitis if it goes untreated or is not allow sufficient rest. Chronic achilles tendonitis is a difficult condition to treat, particularly in older athletes who appear to suffer more often.

Causes of Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is an overuse injury. Too much too soon is the basic cause of overuse injuries, however other factors can contribute to developing the condition.

  • Increase in activity (either distance, speed or hills).
  • Less recovery time between activities.
  • Change of footwear or training surface.
  • Weak calf muscles.
  • Decreased range of motion at the ankle joint, usually cause by tight calf muscles.
  • Running up hills – the achilles tendon has to stretch more than normal on every stride. This is fine for a while but will mean the tendon will fatigue sooner than normal.
  • Overpronation or feet which roll in when running can place an increased strain on the achilles tendon. As the foot rolls in (flattens) the lower leg also rotates inwards which places twisting stresses on the tendon.

OK – so the tendon needs rest.  No more cardio for a while.  I think I can work legs on Sunday and work around this, but not calves – at least not the left calf.   It’s OK.  That’s my larger calf.  I need to work the other one more anyway.  And I hate cardio.  This will heal up and I’ll be good as new.  Fatter, maybe, but good.  Maybe not fatter.  Cardio doesn’t seem to work for me these days anyway.

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